In Texas, it is a crime to commit, promote, compel, or solicit prostitution, regardless of whether or not a sexual act was actually committed. An individual commits prostitution when they knowingly engage in sexual contact, or offer to engage in sexual contact, for a fee.
The Law Offices of Jed Silverman has considerable experience representing clients charged with sex crime and solicitation offenses, including those that occurred during undercover police sting operations and online solicitation that involves the use of a computer. Our team also has experience handling other crimes involving prostitution, such as promotion of prostitution. Led by Jed Silverman, a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, we have the insight and resources to protect the rights of clients during these difficult cases.
Is Solicitation a Misdemeanor or Felony?
How solicitation is charged depends on the nature of the offense. A basic charge of solicitation involving one person asking and one person accepting is usually punished as a misdemeanor. However, habitual offenders with three or more convictions can face felony charges for solicitation.
Solicitation involving minors is also a more serious offense that can result in felony convictions and possible sex offender registration. Solicitation of a minor between the ages of 14 and 18 is considered a third degree felony, while solicitation of a minor under the age of 14 is a second degree felony.
What Are the Penalties for Solicitation?
Under Texas law, a first offense soliciting another person to commit prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor which can result in the following penalties:
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Probation or house arrest in lieu of jail
- Community service
- A fine of up to $2,000
Being accused of solicitation will not necessarily result in mandatory sex offender registry, but it may be a possibility depending on the circumstances of your case. Additionally, penalties will escalate given the circumstances involved in your case. Solicitation of a minor, for example, can carry very severe penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences. With your freedom and reputation on the line, it is imperative that you contact a Houston sex crime attorney immediately to begin building your defense.
Potential Defenses Against Solicitation Charges
The key factor in a successful prosecution of solicitation is proving that a defendant knowingly solicited another person to perform sex acts. The state has the burden of proving that the defendant knew what they were doing beyond a reasonable, as well as showing that money or other items of value were offered in exchange. If they cannot prove these two elements, the defense may ask for the case to be reduced or dismissed. All cases are unique, which is why we tailor defense strategies based on the unique facts of your case.
Don’t Delay – Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you have been arrested and accused of solicitation, you need to contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman as soon as possible. Our legal team is standing by to help you better understand your rights, the criminal process, and what we can do to help achieve the best resolution possible.
Don’t settle for hiring just any lawyer! Contact us today to learn how we can help.